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Creepy Shadowed Undereyes

One way to make a character look creepy is to have deep, dark circles surrounding their eyes in the form of shadows or natural pigmentation, giving them a skull-like, sinister appearance. Often goes hand in hand with Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette and Evil Old Folks, and combined with Evil Eyebrows.

A character that Looks Like Cesare tend to have these eyes, also The Insomniac and other deranged characters, as eye pigmentation can happen from physical exhaustion and lack of sleep, though if it's a one off gag, then they are Exhausted Eye Bags. Some characters may artificially try to replicate this effect with make-up, resulting in Excessive Evil Eyeshadow, or Guyliner, but it just doesn't have the same effect and is not the trope.

When the whole eyes are in shadow to the point that you can't make them out at all they are Hidden Eyes. this effect may be induced or go hand in hand with a Kubrick Stare. Compare Looks Like Cesare.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • L from Death Note, an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette, has circles around his eyes so dark, he has the fan nickname "Panda".
    • Light in the manga is shown to have dark circles around his eyes as well after he became Kira that magically disappear with his Memory Gambit.
  • Colin from Two Keys who is an Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette with huge dark circles around his eyes, which sometimes double as Hidden Eyes, reflecting both his dark past and mysteriousness.
  • Kuroki from No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular has these. While she's not exactly a bad person, it does reduce her physical appeal and reduces her self-esteem.
  • Miranda from D.Gray-Man, though heroic, has these to reflect her gloominess and lack of sleep. They also add to her Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette appearance.
  • Almost every character in Houkago Play has this - partly because many of them are hardcore gamers, and partly because of the art style.
  • Itachi Uchiha from Naruto manages this in his more serious ass-kicking moments.
    • In the original Japanese, Gaara's darkly circled eyes are expressly stated to be Tanuki-like marks he was born with, signifying the animal his bonded demon looks like, much the way Naruto has whisker-marks. In the English dub, they were explained to be caused by his insomnia, which not only makes sense (rather than just assuming the audience wouldn't know what a Tanuki was or just calling it a "raccoon demon") but significantly ups the creep-factor.
  • Trafalgar Law, the 'Surgeon of Death' from One Piece.
  • Hikaru Gosunkugi from Ranma ˝.
  • Many of the antagonists from Yu-Gi-Oh!, including Yami Marik, Yami Bakura, and Bonz.
    • Additionally, in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, there is Johan who gets those when he is possessed by Yubel.
  • Madame Hecuba and her son Tulip the giant from Jack to Mame no Ki.
  • Dr. Hiyari and daughter Hiyariko from Anpanman. They're both mad scientists. Thanks to the simple artwork of the series, their eyes express this by being a dark ring around their eyes (black for Dr. Hiyari, dark purple for Hiyariko).
  • Prandine/Fallow from Deltora Quest has these, though they extend out into bags underneath his eyes as well.
  • Flare Corona, previously a member of Raven Tail, has these, from Fairy Tail.

    Comics 

    Film 

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • The Medic in Team Fortress 2 has these. They're fairly subtle, but compared to the other characters it's a reasonably noticeable feature. It's probably to make his eyes stand out behind his glasses, show that he's no spring chicken, and suggest that he's the kind of person who likely stays up late doing horrible medical experiments. And maybe the stress of his thankless job is getting to him.
  • The Thwomps from the Super Mario Bros. series games. The Boos have them in Luigi's Mansion, and in the sequel they're used to help distinguish King Boo from his servants.
  • Knight of the Seal Hanch in Drakengard 2 has these, as a result of the magical pact that cost her her beauty and attractiveness in general.
  • Loghain in Dragon Age: Origins has extremely dark circles under his eyes. Though his high stress life makes it totally reasonable for him to have them, the cartoonish appearance of his dark circles has been the subject of much mockery, and even lead many players to correctly predict his treachery and resultant villain status. Some of them were apparently so irritated by the raccoon rings around his eyes that they created mods to tone them down.

    Visual Novels 

    Webcomics 
  • Gunnerkrigg Court has Jack while he was going crazy from the influence of a spider-like entity from Zimmy's Mental World. Averted by Winsbury, who's a jerkass initially, but otherwise completely normal. Zimmy (whose eyes are completely covered in black gunk) has these even when her eyes are washed out. Gamma has them as well, presumably because she hardly ever sleeps.
  • Azuu of Elijah And Azuu has visible bags under his eyes constantly, but he doesn't have it nearly as bad as his son, who has very obvious Creepy Shadowed Undereyes (and both also have a case of Red Eyes, Take Warning to boot)
  • In Homestuck, all of the Trolls have these, but it's especially noticeable on insomniac Karkat, Nepeta, whose quality of sleep is presumably lessened for in-universe reasons, Vriska and Eridan, for whom it's largely inexplicable, and Sollux, on the rare occasion he's pictured without his glasses. Equius seems to have this too, but since his are the same colour as his blood it's likely that they're petchia, incurred either in fights with his robots or for...other reasons.
  • Deadpan Snarker Colin from Two Keys has this, as seen in the picture above.
    • Which is actually a milder version. Sometimes he has this to the point where it looks like he's got the Black Eyes of Evil. It's unclear wether he has this due to insomnia, If his magic has a physically draining effect on him or if it has something to do with his Mysterious Past. Not to be confused with when he has his occasional moments of Black Eyes of Crazy.
  • Shazam in Something Positive, after his face is finally revealed.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Several Danny Phantom villains have dark circles under their eyes for the look of evil, starting with Vlad.
  • Brain's arch enemy Snowball the hamster from Pinky and the Brain.
  • Anthony "Fat Tony" DiMico from The Simpsons.
  • Evil Flippy from Happy Tree Friends.
  • Mr. Hitcher from Tiny Toon Adventures.
  • Rasputin from Anastasia
    • This is a common character design used by Don Bluth for his villains in just about every movie he did.
  • In the Ben 10 franchise, both Kevin Levin (Pre-Heel-Face Turn) and Aggregor have these.
    • This actually a genetic trait, seeing as they are both Osmosians, who get this way after absorbing energy.
  • Many animated versions of actor Peter Lorre depicted him with these kind of eyes.
  • The Proto-Clown and Pineapple Pokopo from The Tick.
  • Jon the meth addict from the American Dad! episode "Adventures in Hayleysitting".
  • Mike's evil personality Mal from Total Drama All Stars.
  • Leonardo Leonardo from Clerks.
  • The Joker and Ra's al Ghul in Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Aladdin's evil twin created by the godlike being Chaos in the Aladdin: The Series episode ''When Chaos Comes Calling" has these.

    Other 
  • Svengoolie. The actor uses makeup, but the it's the characters natural look.

    Real Life 
  • In Real Life the skin around the eyes is much thinner, so some people do have darker areas around their eyes (it's also the reason bruises around the eye are so prominent).


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Two KeysImageSource/Web ComicsTwoKinds

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